Jump to content

Vets And Clinics


Recommended Posts

This is a bit hard for me too as I've seen the same vet for 16 years.

But, when I moved to Darwin last year I got a very rude awakening.

Tried a few vets, wasn't impressed with any.

However what I did not like (and had not experienced before, lucky me! :eek: ) was:

counter crammed up against the door! so no space,

extremely expensive, double what I pay here for nearly everything,

no specialists at all


vinyl!! on the examination tables

grotty, tiny recovery area

no phone call when my cat was ready

very limited products

different vet EVERY TIME, so much so that I was told!! to monitor my dogs eye ulcer (size) myself and tell the next vet I saw if it were larger or smaller :laugh:

drugs that needed to be kept cold, insulin and vaccs. were just given to me in their bottles :rofl::rofl::eek: very hot outside, I asked for a foam esky with ice (my vet ALWAYS supplies these) and was told, OH it will be OK, so I went home and got stuff for it myself then picked it up.

NO quarrantine facilities

dogs with dem mange and god knows what else sharing a very tiny room with everyone else.

and many other things that I'm just not used to, including speaking to me as though I was completely ignorant so I gave them my last vets number to ring. Then they admitted their mistake, but did not appologise.

What I like :eek:

My vets do all the opp to the above.

Plus I always see who I want, I use one vet for certain things and one for other things adn I tell them this honestly and they are great about it.

My vets always take a lot of time with each animal and chat to owners allowing the animal to be watched for a while to see how it is etc.

they always rec. other treatments so you can make an informed decision such as specialists, massage, water therapies etc.

They do pathology on the spot, free blood sugar tests no app., if it is beyond them they say, and send things to USA or elsewhere.

Always give up front costs for everything in writing

Know all my pets, dead and alive

do home visits for no extra costs inc. PTS and have done this for free

send cards, flowers when a loved one passes

are very honest about the latest scientific research even if it means NOT treating something

give many alternatives, costs, outcomes so you can make an informed decision about things.

SPOTLESS, large surgery.

They have the latest equipment and keep up with things, never stagnate

Ring with reports every couple of hours if your animal has to stay

You can sit in on recovery

they have quarrantine including a specialised parvo quarantine 'pod'

plenty of parking right outside the door

always on call

I have their home numbers too

They will say, "So and so is TOO FAT! " or whatever else an owner does not wish to hear if it is in the animals best interests

They educate owners and respect owners knowledge too

They give a lot of time and money to charity and put out a newsletter every month with the latest treatments, problems (ie. it's tick time, how to prevent, treat etc. or what's happening OS, and staff info. what courses they've been on, engaged etc)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 45
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I like vets to respect my decisions regarding my animals. We changed one vet because they wouldn't stop pushing at us to get our old girl desexed and wanted to do all sorts of surgery on Harry's hips right away. We found a fantastic vet that wanted to do more natural, long term treatments for Harry and we did eventually get Sophie desexed when we had to put her under for something else. We had a couple of Pyo scares and wanted to be safe than sorry.

I like to see the same vet and I really appreciate it if they remember our other animals/history somewhat.

I like surgeries that recognise Buster's DA and are happy to assist me to get him in/out if there are other dogs around. Big waiting rooms where I can't get cornered are a plus.

Nurses that arn't all high and mighty, I've met too many of them.

I can't knock our current vet really, when Harry and Sophie attacked Buster and my little sister was home alone, she called them and they came and picked him up and took him in immediatly. By the time I ran in the door at the vets I must have looked pretty ragged and stressed and the nurse pointed me straight in the direction to go see him without me even asking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fabulous vet- getting to see the same vet every consult is awesome

Practice uniforms and clean facilities without the over powering 'vet' smell. A little bit is okay but the really strong smell makes me nearly pass out :rofl: (its a classically conditioned response :laugh: )

Easily accessible scales to weigh dogs

I like to read animal related things while waiting- so some of the cute coffee table books my vet has are great to have a flick through.

I love friendly vet nurses who acknowledge me and my dogs

I like the cat adoption unit in the window

Treats for the dogs after or during consult and time taken to make animals confortable during consult

Given choices regarding treatment when appropriate and vet supportive of raw diet.

I DON'T like that the door takes so long to close- would prefer a fast closing door as the clinic is on a busy road

I think thats all for now..

Is this Glen Eira vet?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I really liked as a first time puppy owner was when I called up the local vet surgery the lady who answered (vet nurse I assume) was really helpful, and spent ages with me over the phone going through all my very newbie questions.

She was so helpful, knowledgeable and patient and we hadn't even been into the surgery yet!

I like the scales in the waiting room - we were encouraged to bring our pup in whenever we wanted to get weighed and so going to the vet wasn't a bit deal

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last operation my boy had, he came home with a bandana around his neck which said "I have been very brave at Victoria Park Vets" which, while of no consequence, was a nice thing to do.

We use Vic Park Vet too and got the same thing when Leila was sterilised. Its only a small gesture and as said is of no consequence really but it did make me feel like they cared a bit.

An honest response when I ring to ask if it is really worth bringing the dog/cat in for a consult or if I am just being over paranoid not an automatic bring it down response is good. Leila got an upset stomach after we wormed her the first time at around 12 weeks old (even using the same stuff as the breeder did). Our vet wasnt open so I rang the old one we used to use. The instantly recommended bringing her in, changing her food and buying electrolytes. I rang our breeder for advice who said withhold food for 12 hours, make sure she is still drinking and wean her back on to food only with the same kibble we were using. Worked a treat! I really didnt feel comfortable with swapping and changing the food of a 12 week old puppy on a whim.

It is a silly thing, but what I dont like about our current vet is the little shelf they have at the counter which they fill with spot on treatments and bits and pieces - Leila loves to pull all the things down or knocks them off trying to look over the counter and I feel terrible when everything is knocked off. Having said that, they have always said not to worry about it because they will fix it up - which I can never let them do!

I use a different horse vet to that for the cat and dog. Our horse vet is very good at dealing with a sick animal and a hysterical owner and giving lots of treatment options and identifying all the risks so a decision is able to be made even when stressed. We have used a few small animal vets that arent so good at communicating the options or the risks.

Oh, and lastly, there is nothing worse than a vet that doesnt know how to handle a grumpy cat! Our cat hates the vet and the vet was duely warned when she got an abcess who carried on like he had never been bitten or scratched by a cat before, they then shut her in a cage out the back for 24 hours and told me she was too nasty for them to get out... we found a new vet after a long email.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After going to 2 different vets with horrific results, one pet died a slow death, the other managed to survive. I found a vet clinic that I would never turn away from...

The clinic is beautifully clean and bright.

The staff are lovely and talk to you and your pet.

Everyone is as concerned about your pet as you are.

They are willing to explain everything to you.

If an animal has to stay in overnight and needs constant checking, they take the animal home and care for it there.

They ring constantly at least every day or if there is any change in your pets illness.

They make you feel part of the big family.

Our last pet was PTS and we got a lovely sympathy card from them signed by all the staff. It was so lovely to know they cared so much.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a breeder who runs a boarding kennel. I use several vets . . . two practices mainly.

I love my mobile vet cause she is pragmatic and commonsense and tries to keep costs low, and when she can't help, she suggests going elsewhere. Great, also, that she comes to me and will often do quick diagnoses of a couple dogs without charging a bundle for each. Result: often I'm able to tell a boarder that a vet looked at their dog and bill them only for meds and not the consult fee . . . or half-price consult fee cause a couple dogs got quick consults. She also does things like using Amoxiclav instead of Clavulox. Same drug. Different packinging. Amox is about half as expensive as Clav.

My breeder / repro specialist is great cause they do the procedures I require all the tiime. They do a great job. They give good breeder discounts. This is especially true with Ceasarian sections, which they can do after hours (for a fee) and do with great speed and top-grade results, but also true of progesterone tests, spey jobs, and hip and elbow Xrays.

I will not work with a vet who doesn't explain what they are doing and why and will not take the effort to try and educate me about the problem the dog is having.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are 3 vets in the practice that we go to and every one of them knows Ollie's case (even though the practice owner is the vet we usually see) - I think it is really nice that they all made an effort to know Ollie and what we were dealing with.

I also like the fact that, even though they did not agree with the holistic approach we wanted to use as well as the chemo, they helped so much by sending Ollie's results to the holistic vet for us and even chatted with them to produce the best outcome for Ollie...

The staff a very friendly and always say hi, even if they are busy... The other vets even come into the waiting area to say hi and have a pat between consults if we are there - but then I suppose we have spent a lot of time and money there, maybe they feel obligated to be nice to him :laugh:

The advice is always spot on, they never push you out the door and always take the time to hear your concerns (no matter how silly they might sound)...

They do give approximate costs and will call if it is going to go over... I was lucky enough to be offered an account when Ollie was having chemo but I chose not to take them up on it and extended the limit on my visa card instead to cover it.. Just the fact that they offered impressed me...

If there was a gold award for veterinary service - our vet and his practice deserve it... :laugh: West Queanbeyan Vets...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- Knowledge and skill, including knowing the limits of their knowledge and referring to specialists at the right time - as someone else said, without that, everything else doesn't matter.

- Clean, clean, clean.

- Prepared to explain test results and reasoning behind different courses of treatment. Happy to discuss options. Doesn't over-service or over-charge.

- Is either 24 hour or has some kind of out of hours service that does not require you to shuttle your dog between their surgery and an emergency vet for days. I will never use that kind of arrangement again having experienced it with a seriously ill dog (who died). Is OK about letting the dog stay overnight with you instead if it's appropriate.

- Friendly but not pushy smarmy. Treats animals with care not as lumps of meat. Also, while I'm aware that nursing and reception staff must see a lot of morons, and a lot of stuff that makes them :laugh: I find staff who treat you as if you are a barely mentally competent 10 y/o really aggravating.

- Well designed reception area and systems. Our current vet has an outdoor waiting area with a seat and rings in the stone wall for tie ups so that reactive dogs or dogs that might eat the other patients can wait outside. Another vet we went to had one side for cats and another side for dogs. Also reception staff who will intervene if people/kids/animals are disrupting the reception area. And a rear exit for post PTS exits where you are weeping buckets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- parking at the door

- appts generally run to time, but if for some reason they don't (eg emergencies) reception staff let you know.

- accessible scales in the waiting room and staff that don't mind if you "drop in" just to weigh an animal - I sometimes do it as part of training, just to get the dogs used to getting on the scales and staying still. They may think that I'm an idiot, but they never show it whilst I'm there.

- waiting room usually only has one or two animals waiting because of the way they arrange their appts. And, there is plenty of room to spread out and move away if need be.

- vets and staff remember me and my pet, even when I drop in without an animal

- only struck one idiot vet amongst the bunch - seemed scared of big dogs - the rest are brilliant and I can usually choose who I want to see if it is not an emergency.

- vets that are willing to explain treatments, diagnosis to the "paranoid owner" who always has questions... and don't make me feel like an idiot in the process.

- the care and sensitivity shown when I had to have my guinea pig PTS - explained the process (it is different to dogs) and why things were done, and gave me time and space to bawl... then sensitively approached the subject of what to do with her next (which cannot be an easy thing for a vet) and still treated her with respect after she was "gone".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well now, I think I’m an expert at this seeing that we almost live at Chloe’s specialist!!

I like a personal touch – staff that are genuinely friendly and take the time to get to know me and my dog. At her specialist, I say MY name and they say ‘oh you’re calling about Chloe?’. I like that. They speak about Chloe like she’s an old friend, and the most special patient they have (and I’m sure they do the same for all their patients).

I also like that the receptionists have some knowledge ie, know what test Chloe would be having for Cushings disease, what medication she is taking and what it’s for etc. They never give advice or anything, but they always understand what I am talking about when I’m leaving a message. Nothing is ever too hard, or too much bother. They happily ensure each and every customer is satisfied.

I like Chloe’s specialist because he is thorough, he is understanding, and he is just someone I can trust. It’s hard to find a vet who pays particular interest in each case and pays personal attention – finding a vet you can trust is VERY hard. He wants to know everything about Chloe.

I like that I can request minor things (like Chloe to be set up on a blanket on the floor instead of a cage if she’s only staying for a while due to her weak back legs). They always understand and go out of their way to ensure both of us are comfortable.

I like that when someone is in the waiting room crying, the receptionist comes over with tissues and puts her arm around them and let’s them cry. That’s special.

Most of all, I LOVE it that when I take Chloe in – everyone makes a fuss of her, the receptionists say hi and bye when she’s leaving. I love that they seem to care about her (almost) as much as I do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh I also liked the fact that one day when I had to take my old boy in, I was told his regular vet was unavailable and he would be seeing another one - now worries I know them both.

When I got there my regular vet called me in - I was suprised, but she told me they had organsied it so she could see him as she had been dealing with him the whole time. That was great, no explaining all over again.

I also like it when you take your animal to a different vet and they take some time, even if just a few minutes to read up on them just before they call you in. I hate having to go over everything again - or as in one instance very sick old cat, had been in 2 days before, couldn't find an obvious problem on bloods examination etc.

He went down hill VERY quickly so I rang and booked an appoint to have him euthed first thing next morning.

I walked in very upset, as you are, and had a vet wanting to examine him, I was like he is 15 has ongoing issues and now virtually comatose, I have booked him in for euthanasia - no I don't want you to check him over and run tests!

When the vet looked back at the last visit, he went ah okay no worries I will get the injection.

I was like arrgghh I booked him for euthanasia, if you had of looked prior to me getting in you would have been ready!

Having said that after he was done they put him in a lovely calico bag with gold ribbon and a small bunch of flowers - so that was great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

our vet has a kind and gentle nature.

always answers my questions without being patronizing and encourages discussion if i am concerned about somthing...

(i ask alot of questions) :laugh:

Our vet nurse knows all the clients and their situations and is very respectful ( small town )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

-spotless clean facility

-friendly nurses and receptionist who know my name, my dogs names and their health issues.

-large clean waiting room with plenty of space so you can sit with your pet and not have other animals all around.

-generally run on time even though you never feel rushed through a consult, I think they allow a generous time schedule.

-Lots of products on display and at reasonable cost.

-scales in waiting room that you can pop in and use and they will record the current weight even though no consult.

-rarely more than one client in waiting area as they have an efficient use of consult rooms.

-able to do many things in house.

-well trained and articulate vets willing to discuss treatment options.

-open 7 days a week and open on week nights.

-lots of treats for my dogs.

-nurses and vets are patient with Molly who tends to get a little overexcited at the vets.

-parking on site, nice grassed garden area for pooping etc and double entry doors so you can see before you enter who is in the waiting room.

Edited by mokhahouse
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First and foremost - my vet and vet nurse. I do not care what their clinic looks like as pretty paint on the walls will not affect the service or care they give my animals.

I actually have to steal sas' list as it is exactly what I think (even the last bit!):

1) I get the same Vet everytime who knows my dogs history.

2) I get a Vet I trust and is clearly all about the dog not all about the $.

3) I get a Vet that is compassionate about Rescue and offers free/discounted services/products.

4) I get a Clinic whose Vet Nurses are lovely and not grumpy bossy over opinionated prats you get in a lot of clinics.

In addition

5) I get a vet and vet nurse who go above and beyond simply treating your animal - they genuinely care and will do everything they can to help including spending their own time learning more about your dog's condition.

6) I get a clinic that does not push food or products and has decent knowledge of training, nutrition.

7) I get a clinic that is open to change - such as titres, vax protocols etc and will support your decisions.

8) I get a clinic that knows my breed.

I think my dog's reaction says a lot - he gets so excited when we pull into the driveway of the vet and almost turns himself inside out when he sees my vet and vet nurse. My vet especially can do anything to him and he just lets him - nails, blood tests etc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good looking male vet :o who doesn't think that every dog owner has no clue about dogs and who doesn't push their SPIV'd (sales person jargon) dog food every time

We have one guaranteed hottie and awesome bedside manner to boot (no, he has nothing to do with my clinic) in the SE but I'm not sure where you're situated Kelpie-i. ;)

Yeah theres one in Ballarat who not too bad on the eyes either plus hes a great vet :laugh:

Oooh please PM me and tell me who and where! :thumbsup:

I like at my vet clinic, that they've noted on my file that I like to see a particular vet and always book me in to see him - or tell me if he's unavailable.

I like that they give me a discount on vaccs and chips for my litters and ask to see my Dogs Vic membership card before doing so :laugh:

I have a dog who is on medication long term and my vet suggests I call him when we're ready to change the dose, or if I need more, rather than coming in for a consult - not a big thing but much appreciated

When 2 of my bitches had a fight and I took them to the vets, one of the nurses was so lovely to me - I was very shaken up and had some bites on my arms, she cleaned me up and sat me down, then held my dog for the consult while the vet examined her. She even gave me a bottle of iodine to take home. I'll never forget how nice she was to me that day

I don't like vets/nurses who don't have basic breed knowledge. My greyhound was desexed this week and when I collected him, the nurse was gushing over what a lovely dog he is and how special greyhounds are. She read through the post surgery care sheet and told me I needed to keep him quiet. "Haha, he's a greyhound!" I said. "Oh yes I know - it will be hard" was her reply :p

Vets or nurses who are nervous with dogs bugs me too - I know they see some horrible dogs and examples of breeds but it doesn't put me at ease if they're handling my dogs like they're going to 'turn' any second or are too worried to get close enough for a proper examination. My vet will let me hold my bitches when he takes blood for prog tests - others insist on taking them out the back so nurses can hold them. I guess thats another benefit of building up a relationship with one particular vet - he learns to trust you and your dogs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I lived in south eastern suburbs of melb vet I used to take Lady to was fantastic staff used to make fuss of all animals when they came in and vet would always come out and give dogs a pat before you went in were really friendly and would take the time to listen to you if you had any concerns.

Unfortunately up in northern vic now can't say same thing about 2 local vets up here there is no bedside manner just come in do whatever they have to do and see you later. When I took Lady in for couple of wart things to be taken off around 12 months ago vet they did a pre blood screen and when I went to pick her up vet was so cold in his attitude said her enzyme level was very high which indicated possibly a tumor in her liver and that he'd be seeing her back there in a couple of months to be pts. I was like ;) I know she's old but is still eating well and weight still the same etc, just couldn't believe his attitude, and 12 months later she's still here and still going strong no changes in weight etc so guess they aren't always right but really miss our old vet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread made for interesting reading

My first vet


-Very knowlagable and took lots of time to explain everything

- Handled my dogs well

- Didn't seem to push unneccisary extra stuff

- scales in waiting room that I could drop by and use


- Receptionist/vet nurse always made me feel rude when I asked to see 1 particular vet rather than whoever was available

- no after hours service

- no off street parking

My current vet


- Seems very competant, he is an older vet and has a very sensible approach to treating my dogs

- Happy to wait and see when appropriate instead of rushing in to treat

- My dogs LOVE him and going to the vets.

- Handles my dogs well

- Let me hold Anna while she had blood taken, even tho she was obviously very bouncy

- Has no brand dry food in the waiting room and fully supports my raw feeding

- Small 1 vet practise, always have same vet and almost always the same vet nurse too

- 2 consult rooms, always puts person arriving into the unused room so that the waiting room doesn't have any patients waiting when you go in

- easy to talk to vet by phone if waiting for test results or need to follow up anything

- scales in waiting room

- gave me a student discount

- off street parking


- Keen to offer the yearly heartworm injection

- no after hours service.

I will be moving again sometime in the near future and will need to find another vet I like ;) hopefully there will be one close by.

Edtited to add a few more I just remembered

Edited by Casima
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is really hard there is so much... Where to start

Ditto to everyone elses 'know me and my dogs', clean, friendly, asking if they can have treats, reasonable fees etc.

Others for me are:

1. Don't laugh but they must know their stuff - the young inexperienced ones MUST be prepared to get help when they need it - NOTHING bothers me more than a youngie trying to bluff their way through a difficult diagnosis with a very ill animal - they need to say they need help and then to get it - FAST! That gives me confidence that they know the limits of their professional boundaries and experience - the bluffing does not! And its obvious!

2. Be prepared to go further when the diagnosis isn't clear cut or the treatment is going on a long time - to stick with it and do any research which is required on latest, lesser known treatments etc

3. Consistent vets - a constant stream of locuums is hard on them and hard on us and our animals. I've discovered this improves an animals care by about 1000%.

4. Letting me pop animals prone to weight gain on the scales when I'm passing and then putting the weight in their notes.

5. For Mac's recent ear ablation I had the choice of their visiting surgeon or the specialist clinic - I choose the visiting surgeon with my vets assisting - because I have complete confidence in my vets and Mac knows the surgery. The procedure was hard enough without putting him through it in a completely unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people.

6. Work with me - I know my animals better than they do. I'm not always right and neither are they - but we both want the same thing. I'm not a vet but I'm not dumb either. My observations and opinions can be useful.

7. Don't up-sell - I'm not there for that. In fact I buy some cat treats from my vet precisely because they don't pressure me!

8. After Hours service on the normal vet clinic number - in a panic I don't have to try and remember another number.

9. Sensible use of palliative care. And be brave enough to help us when we are having trouble making THE decision.

Edited by westiemum
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...